Oh, what could have been.
Former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips, already in prison on auto theft and domestic violence charges in California, is under investigation for allegedly murdering his cellmate over the weekend.
As if there was any doubt that selecting Jonathan Ogden over Phillips as the first draft pick in Ravens history back in 1996 was the right move — and to be clear, there isn't — this latest allegation only makes it clearer.
But being a bit unfamiliar with the back story — I was in first grade at the time — I went back through our online archives to find some interesting reads on the decision, both before and after the fact.
It goes without saying that Phillips' career paled in comparison to the 11-time Pro Bowl, Hall of Fame career of Ogden. Here's a miniature timeline of some of The Sun's accounts:
- In a column that had a miniature mock draft tagged at the end on April 13, Vito Stellino had Phillips going to the Ravens, and discussed the possibility of teams trading up to get him.
- On April 17, Mike Littwin went hard on domestic abuse, then said Phillips, a star at Nebraska, should have an opportunity to prove he had changed.
- On April 21, John Eisenberg recounted how Ogden fell to the Ravens and the big decision didn't turn out to be much of a decision at all.
- That same day, Mike Preston also wrote about how the decision came to be. As has become lore, Ozzie Newsome's pick won out.
- In June, after Phillips was arrested for driving while intoxicated in California, Stellino wrote about what it meant for the Rams brass that drafted him.